The Telemachus Story Archive

Interview With A Torturer
By Hooder
Email: hooder@ntlworld.com



This interview originally appeared in the June 1999 edition of the British magazine "Tech Warrior" - a publication about the elite, specialized military units of the world's Armed Forces. However, the Home Office (ie the British Government) objected to the publication of the article as it stood, and would only grant permission for the piece to be published if it were severely edited - and in fact less than twenty percent of the original text survived the censors and appeared in print.

The following is a transcript of the interview in its entirety. The interviewer, Paul Daly, was a staff journalist with the magazine. In addition to the recorded text of the interview, Daly (now no longer a journalist) has subsequently added an introduction, narration, and comments especially for us. These are additional to the interview, and did not appear in the original transcript. These additions are in italics.

Copywrite of this complete article is held jointly by Paul Daly and Tech Warrior publications.

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Interview with a Torturer

Introduction

I was working on a story concerning security in the the British SAS. It was a very high-priority project, the magazine having poured a lot of money, time and effort into it. Normally it would have been a bit out of my league, but before I worked for Tech Warrior I used to be a Russian/English translator - and as I was the best one on the staff at the time, and this story called for someone who was at home with the langauge, I got the job.

After a great deal of effort (and a lot of cloak-and-dagger manoeuvres), I found myself in the labyrinthine depths of the MI6 building in central London, researching a peripheral line about cryptogrphy. It was while I was there that I was covertly approached by an agent who was a fan of Tech Warrior, and asked if I'd be interested in talking to a professional torturer. Of course he didn't call him that - "ISO" (short for "Interrogation and Sanction Facilitating Operative") was the term used. Although this didn't form part of my brief, it was an opportunity far too good to miss. So, under the noses of the British Military Intelligence Service, and in a one of the highest-security buildings in the country, more money changed hands and arrangements were made.

The appointment was set for the following day, and I was taken in a car with blacked-out windows for a ride which lasted over three hours. On arrival at our destination I was blindfolded and guided across a gravel drive, into a building, through corridors and down no less than three elevators. Wherever we were, this was one large building - and evidently much of it was underground.

When my blindfold was removed I found myself outside a door bearing the legend 'F3/Suite 71' I committed the number to memory.The soldier opened the door and directed me into the blue-carpeted living room. Two armchairs faced each other with a low glass table between them; there was a matching settee on the right, with tea and coffee-making facilities standing on the lowest shelf of a bookcase beside it; a widescreen TV, a VCR machine and a CD player stood in the corner; and on the left-hand wall hung a large, beautiful colour photograph of the Horse-head Nebula taken from the Hubble Telescope. The room was windowless (as we were deep underground), and there was one other door, directly opposite the one I'd been led in through. This second door was currenty closed.

I'd been accompanied in the car, and guided into the building by an armed soldier in cammos and a black balaclava who hadn't said a single word to me so far. Having removed my blindfold, he pointed to the armchair nearest to me, waited until I'd sat down, and left by the same door we'd entered by. I heard him station himself outside the door.

I took my recorder out of my pocket, connected it up - setting the microphone on the glass table - and did a sound check. Everything seemed ok, so I inspected the books on the bookshelf while I waited. They were mostly science-fiction, with works by Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clark predominating; but also - and more disturbingly - there were books on human physiology, psychology, and neurology. Oddly, the very last book on the lower shelf was "Mr Benson" by John Preston. I sat down in the chair again.

As I waited, I wondered what this guy was going to be like. I don't really know what I expected - and elderly, thin-faced, nervous man in a white lab coat and rimless spectacles, constantly flexing his talon-like fingers? A brusque military officer in uniform? A hulking brute stripped to the waist and in an executioner's mask? I was certainly expecting the man to be masked, anyway, for security reasons. But when the second door finally opened, the figure that entered was nothing at all like any of these images - and nor was he masked: he was a very blond, stunningly attractive young man in his late twenties, with a beaming smile on his face.

"Hi. I'm Mark. You're Paul, right?"

I stood up and shook his outstretched hand. His grip was firm.

"Please - sit down. Let's have some coffee. How d'you like it?"

I told him, and he brought two mugs over, setting them carefully on the glass table, then sat down in the opposite chair.

I thanked him.

Mark was about 5'10", suntanned, had blond spiky hair, and a beautiful physique which was shown off to excellent advantage by what he was wearing: a snow-white sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off; skin-tight shiny black leather jeans worn inside heavy leather motorcycle boots with shiny steel plates on the front and lots of buckles up the sides; and a heavy, studded black leather belt. But the thing that caught my attention more than anything else was his quite extraordinary blue eyes - I'd only seen eyes like that once before: on a Husky dog. They were the blue of a summer sky. In short, he was nothing at all like I'd been expecting. I had to remind myself that this boy was a professional torturer.

He leaned back in the chair and his leather jeans creaked as he stretched his legs out and crossed them at the ankles. We chatted for a while about the kind of questions I wanted to ask him, and he outlined - quite regretfully - the few areas that he wouldn't be able to talk about: mainly names, dates and times of individual cases. Having established the ground rules, I pressed the 'record' button on the machine. What follows is transcript of that conversation.

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The Interview

Paul Daly : May second, nineteen ninety-nine, fourteen forty-two hours. I'm sitting here in an underground room talking to Mark. So, Mark - I understand you're a professional torturer.

Mark : [chuckling] That's not the term we usually use. My official title is: "Interrogation and Sanction Facilitating Operative", or 'ISO' for short (I'm never quite sure what happened to the 'F' in that). But yes, you could call me a torturer, and I do it for a living, so I suppose I'm a professional one.

PD : What section of the MOD [Ministry of Defence] are you attached to?

M : [pauses, smiles, and shakes his head slowly] I'm afraid I can't tell you that. In any case, I'm often shared around between several different departments. I'm based here, but I also work in the field a lot, and in lots of other operation centres.

PD : So you actually live here?

M : A lot of the time, yeah. [Indicates the room we're sitting in, with his hand] This is my living room. The kitchen and the bedroom are through there [pointing to the second door.] This is as close to a home as I've got. [Beaming smile.]

PD : And where do you actually torture people?

M : [Pauses. His smile fades slightly.] The Interrogation Rooms are in a different part of the building.

PD : Ok. So tell me a bit about yourself. How did you come to be a torturer? How old were you? In fact how old are you now?

M : I'm twenty-seven now. I was a Leiutenant in the SAS when I was selected for further training. I was twenty then.

PD : So you've been doing this for seven years?

M : Five. I was on training asignment for two years. How did I come to be a torturer? I suppose someone thought I looked like one. [Laughs.] No - I'd studied medicine in the Army before the SAS - I was originally going to be a surgeon - but then I was transferred to the Interrogation Wing. No idea why - who knows why the powers-that-be make these decisions.

PD : And do you enjoy your work?

M : Oh fuck yeah. I love it.

PD : I have to say that you're not at all the sort of guy I was expecting.

By that point I was already aware that I felt deeply attracted to this stunningly good-looking boy, and that I was having to concentrate to keep my mind on the interview. His eyes were compellingly beautiful. As if reading my thoughts, he sat up, parted his knees wide and leant forward - his tanned, muscular forearms resting on his leather-jeaned thighs.

M : [laughing] Aren't I? Is it the hair, or the jeans?

PD : Both, actually. And more. You're young, good-looking, friendly, self-confident, open, and - if you don't mind me saying so - very attractive.

[Mark's grin gets even broader.]

M : Well thank you!

PD : I must admit that I thought you'd be masked for this interview.

M : With eyes this colour there's not a lot of point. And I can't wear contacts - tried it once for a while. Hell.

PD : They are a remarkable colour.

M : Yeah. My grandfather's were the same.

PD : They're very sexy. They must help you a lot.

M : For getting sex? Or in my work? Mind you - with me, it's the same thing.

PD : How do you mean?

M : I'm a sexual animal. To me, my work is pure sex.

PD : You mean you're a sadist?

M : Oh I'm a sadist all right - but not necessarily in the way you mean. Although I am in that way as well.

PD : [Getting confused, shaking head] I'm sorry, I don't understand.

M : Ok. I get off on working on a source. I couldn't do it if I didn't, and that's why I'm so good. Let me explain.

[He extracts a somewhat flattened pack of Marlboros from the back pocket of his jeans, offers me one. The pack smells of leather. Lights us both. Sits back and drapes one booted leg over the arm of the chair]

While he talked, his other hand was gently stroking the inside of his thigh through his jeans. He seemed unaware that he was doing this. His gaze was fixed on the NASA print, allowing me to stare in increasing fascination at the slowly growing bulge at his crotch.

M : To me, a source [a 'source' is a subject, or victim - especially one being interrogated] is different things on different levels. He (or she) is my living; he's also a nervous system waiting to be stimulated in interesting ways; he's a mind waiting to be entered, re-shaped and raided for information; and most of all, he's a challenge. 'Torture' can take very many forms.

I realized he was looking at me again at that point, and I tore my gaze away from the now bulging front of his jeans. He seemed not to have noticed. I had never before met anyone who was so unself-conscious about playing with himself in company. I now found myself staring into those deep blue eyes and I wasn't sure which was having more effect on me - them, or his crotch.

M : I suppose you equate 'torture' to 'pain' [He raises his eyebrows interrogatively. I nod in response. He smiles and shakes his head slowly.] We probably use pain a lot less that you imagine. The threat of pain is usually much more effective than the pain itself. Oh we do use pain, of course - it can be very useful, and it's usually fairly reliable - but it's a very destructive technique, and on certain types of people it's no use at all. More often than not, there are different techniques that are much more efficient. Course it depends where I am - in the field there's often no alternative to hand, wheras in a place like this [he knocks his cigarette ash into the ashtray and makes a wide gesture with his hand, taking in the whole building] there are facilities and equipment which offer a lot more choices. But I was explaining about getting off on it all.

His eyes went back to the picture on the wall. Mine returned to his thighs and crotch. I realized that I had an erection inside my blue jeans, and crossed my legs in an attempt to hide the fact.

M : [silent for a few moments, thinking.] I suppose you could call me a sexually-motivated control freak. [He smiles again.] The one thing that turns me on more than anything else in the world is breaking down someone's defences. The stronger their defences are, the more turned on I get breaking them. Doesn't matter whether the source is male, female, young, old, beautiful, sexy, ugly - the more they try to hold out against me, the more I love it, and the more efficiently I try to break them.

His deep blue eyes glanced at me - luckily I was staring at his pecs at the time - and there was a boyishly coy expression on his face.

M : I often cum while I'm working on a source - sometimes a lot more than once.

PD : Is that why you wear leather jeans?

M : [chuckling] No - I wear leather jeans because they're sexy, and they make me feel horny, and I work best when I'm horny. I wear a condom inside them when I'm working, in case you were wondering.

PD : They certainly fit you well, Mark.

I expected another beaming smile here - but Mark gazed at me thoughtfully, and in silence, his face devoid of expression. It struck me that there was something in his gaze that didn't quite fit with his general aura of confidence. For a moment he seemed vulnerable, and somehow... hungry. The silence stretched for a few moments.

PD : Ok, let's deal with pain first. What kind of techniques do you use?

M : Again, it depends where I am. If there are facilities, then usually electrical. If it's done properly it doesn't leave any marks and it's extremely difficult to withstand - but the things that appeal to me most about it are its purity, and that it's so efficient. The nervous system is electrical, of course, and stimulating the nerves with electrical current is by far the most efficient way to cause pain. Also it's infinitely controllable: I can do anything from creating a barely-perceptible tickle to completely depolarising non-trivial nerves - and that causes the most exquisite, mind-bending agony you can imagine - in fact you can't begin to imagine it, Paul.

This was the first time he'd used my name since we'd been recording - and the look he gave me sent shivers down my spine. Being with that beautiful, sexy boy, whom I knew was a torturer, was generating a complex mix of emotions inside me. When I'd arrived there I'd been prepared to be disgusted and outraged by someone who, for a living, caused suffering to other human beings. But now I was aware that I no longer felt quite that way. The young man sitting opposite me was full of life, outgoing, friendly, charismatic, fun, boyish, sexy, and downright gorgeous. I fancied him intensely, and I had difficulty in imagining him torturing anybody - at least I did until he'd said that last phrase. Suddenly I saw in him something very much to be afraid of: he was much deeper - and far, far more dangerous - than his looks indicated. But rather than repulse me in any way, this new aspect of him only served to excite me in a different way. I felt suddenly very alone, powerless, and outgunned. In my work for the magazine I was frequently in the presence of muscular, highly-trained young soldiers any one of whom could have beaten me to a pulp or have killed me without raising their heartbeat - but sitting there with Mark, I realized that he could do far, far worse than that, and with much less effort. Fascinated, I played with the notion...

PD : Mark, say you were in the field, and you had no equipment - nothing. Say, for instance, that there was just you, and me, in a completely empty room. How would you interrogate me?

M : You must understand that I'm not an interrogator. I've been trained as one, but I don't do it now. I work with interrogators. They ask the questions - much more efficiently than I ever could - while I just motivate the source to comply. My work is very specialized. But, I know what you want - come here a minute.

He smiled, a bit wolfishly. I was unsure what was going to happen, but after a slight hesitation, I got up, walked round the glass table and stood between his wide-open legs. The view from there was amazing. He put out his hand.

M : Give me your hand a moment.

[He takes my right hand gently in his left, so that my palm is facing upwards. His fingers are below my open hand, his thumb gently stroking my palm. Still smiling boyishly, and not even glancing down at what he's doing, he positions his thumb carefully between the base of my own thumb and the root of my first finger, his index finger directly underneath it on the other side of my hand, and presses, with a slight side-to-side rolling motion. A searing pain makes me grimace, its intensity seemingly out of all proportion to the amount of effort he's putting into it. I stifle a yell, but I hold my ground.]

His long-lashed blue eyes were gazing up at me, and he had a totally innocent expression on his face. In spite of the pain, more than anything I wanted to kiss him.

M : How much pain do you want? A bit less? [He reduces the pressure fractionally and the pain eases slightly.] A bit more? [The intensity returns - and climbs alarmingly. My breath forces out in little grunts from between tightly-clenched teeth.] Or a lot more?

[I pull my hand away sharply, and he chuckles. He offers me another cigarette. I take it with my left hand and sit down again. My hand still hurts. The ease with which he did that to me is devastating. I would hate to get into a fight with him.]

PD : That really hurt.

M : No it didn't. - it was a bit uncomfortable, that's all. All I did was apply a bit of pressure to a nerve. [He looks at me, running his eyes down my body.] There are about a hundred and fifty different places on your body I could do that sort of thing to. [The beaming smile returns, lighting up his face.] And then there are a lot more that require three fingers...

I think that was a joke, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it wasn't. The thought of the power that that boy had over me made me short of breath.

PD : Ok. You said that you don't use pain all that much. What other forms of coercion do you use?

M : Oh, there's lots. It depends on lots of things: the source himself; what processing he's had before that particular session; what - if anything - we know he's particularly susceptible to; his health record; all kinds of things.

PD : Can you give me some examples?

M : Well. there's drugs - things like succinyl choline...

PD : What does that do?

M : Actually, that's a pain thing again. We only use that for sanction work - not for interrogation. Anyway, believe me, you don't want to know what it does - it's not pleasant. [He takes his leg from over the chair arm and puts his booted ankle on the opposite knee. His left hand idly plays with one of the buckles.]

The fingers of his other hand were still gently carressing the leather at the very top of his thigh, but now his thumb was also sliding slowly over the bulge of his cock head. He was getting very horny. And he wasn't the only one.

PD : Can you explain what you mean by 'sanction work'?

M : Oh, right. The purpose of an interrogation is to get information from a - usually unwilling - source, and the principle is that actually he is in control of the situation all the time. I know, this sounds strange, but it's true. He can stop whatever I'm doing to him - the torture [he smiles at me and inclines his head as he says that] - by complying with the interrogator's wishes, ie by answering his questions. Sanctions are completely different. They come about in several different ways - the interrogator might make a threat, say of future torture [another smile] if the source refuses to comply. This would be for a predetermined time, and not stoppable by the source. Or, I might get sent a subject who is not there for interrogation, but simply to be punished. This is sanction work - torture where the subject has no control over it and can't stop it by agreeing to answer questions, or by any other means. He just has to lie there and take it, period.

PD : I see. Do you get much of that sort of work?

M : Probably more than you'd think.

PD : Ok - back to techniques. What else do you use?

Mark lowered his head, staring at his boots for a few moments, then, moving only his eyes, looked up at me and smiled slowly. It was the most devastatingly sexy effect I'd ever seen.

M : Well, there's sex. [He pauses, regarding me through his long lashes] A lot of my work is based on sexual techniques.

PD : [Waiting for him to elaborate. He doesn't, so I ask.] Like what?

My mouth had suddenly gone very dry. The next thing he said convinced me he could read minds as well.

M : I'll tell you in a minute. Fancy another coffee?

[I nod, wordlessly. He bounds up out of the chair, collects the cups off the table and busies himself at the coffee machine.]

I drank in the sight of him from the back - his boyish, blond, spiky hair; his tanned, muscular arms, with a single SAS tattoo on his right bicep; the perfect 'V' shape of his torso in the sleeveless white sweatshirt separated by the studded belt from his tight, round, shiny, arse with the seam of his jeans deeply embedded between the cheeks; the perfectly smooth and creaseless shiny black leather clinging to his thighs and legs, and the kinky, fuck-off motorcycle boots. I wanted him very, very badly. I longed to feel his strong arms around me, to lose myself in the depths of those incredible, sexy blue eyes, and to kiss him until next Tuesday. If that wasn't possible, I'd have settled for licking him all over. He returned with the coffee and handed me a mug. He put his own down on the table, and I expected him to sit down again, but instead, he stood three feet away from me, his booted feet apart, and his thumbs hooked casually in the pockets of his leather jeans. His shiny cock-bulge was exactly at my eye level.

M : Do you think I'm sexy?

PD : Yes.

Actually, if you listen to the tape, this word is not clear. It more closely resembles the sound made by some desperate animal in heat. It was also possibly the understatement of the century.

M : Would you like to have sex with me?

There is a silence here of some considerable length. This is not because I was unsure, or thinking about my answer - it is because my vocal apparatus was no longer functioning to my will. In fact it was not functioning at all. Eventually I managed a croak which, correctly, Mark interpreted to mean, yes.

PD : Yes.

Mark now began to run his hands slowly over his entire body slowly, in the most lascivious way imaginable. This boy had no shame whatsoever. The fingers of one hand played with his nipples and ran over his well-developed pecs while the other caressed his tight-jeaned thighs and massaged his cock through the black leather. He leaned backwards slightly, pushing his hips towards me. I was unable to move a muscle, and going cross-eyed from trying to follow both hands at once. I was also very close to cumming in my jeans. I had never in my life seen anything so horny.

M : Would you like to hold me, feel me holding you? Bite my nips? Smell my hair? Bury your face in my crotch? Lick the leather? Suck my cock? Fuck me senseless?

Being by now completely incapable of speech, I simply nodded, once. A single sound, which could possibly have been "PLEEEASE....." managed to escape.

Then, he suddenly lay down on the floor as if he were hogtied. Gone was the cocky, teasing boy, and in its place was a frightened, helpless youth. Now, his arms were behind his back and his arm muscles straining as if he were handcuffed; his booted feet were behind him, his knees drawn up to his chest and his legs close together in an effort to protect his cock and balls - which made his shiny bubble-butt stick out and all the more vulnerable. His blue eyes, terrified, looked up at me pleadingly. When he spoke, his voice was small, and shaking with fear.

M : You - you won't hurt me, will you? I'm helpless. I can't stop you doing anything you want to me. Please, Sir? I can't stop you getting to my cock, or my arse, or my nipples.... If - if you fuck me, please do it gently. I've never been fucked before..... And I'm so horny in these tight leather jeans... please make me cum... Will you make me cum please? Please, Sir?

My voice was working again. "Oh YESS!" I'd actually started to get out of the chair when Mark jumped up, beaming, winked at me, and sat down opposite me again.

M : I have that effect on most people. It's very useful.

I was still half-standing, staring at him, open mouthed. I sank back slowly into the soft cushions.

M : [picking up his coffee and drinking slowly between sentences] Sorry about that. I wanted to demonstrate the basis of one technique I use. I don't want to sound arrogant or narcissistic, but I know perfectly well that I'm good-looking and sexy. In fact I'm very sexy. I work at it. It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally we get a source who will open up at the merest hint that he might get sex with me in one way or another. If that's the case, then of course I pricktease the fuck out of him, like I just did to you. Sometimes they want to top me, sometimes the other way around.

PD : And... [ clears throat] And do you ever let them?

M : Sure, sometimes. But like I say, that doesn't happen very often. Still, my looks help a lot in other ways. [Beaming smile] Yes, I know - you want to know what other ways. Ok. [Takes a long drink of coffee.] Well, the most effective non-pain techniques I use are probably cum-control; tickling; and SDO - sorry, that's Sensory Deprivation and Overload.

PD : Cum control? Tickling? You use those as tortures? Bit tame, aren't they? I can't imagine a trained soldier not being able to hold out against that sort of thing!

Mark's mouth formed a gentle smile which somehow caused me to reconsider. After what he'd showed me so far, I was suddenly quite prepared to believe that he could make use of wallpaper to get information out of a guy.

M : Oh you'd be surprised, Paul. You'd be very surprised.

That was the second time he'd used my name - and believe me I was counting. The same icy fingers walked up and down my spine, and my cock was straining against my jeans.

PD : And what's Sensory Deprivation and ... whatever it was you said? I know what Sensory Dep is, but -

M : You know what Sensory Dep is? Ok. Well, what you do is get a guy in that for a few hours - not in a tank, but lying naked on a special foam-covered pallette. It's a dense, spongy foam that molds to the subject's body and quickly takes on the body's temperature - so you can't feel it after a while, even with small body movements. The subject wears a special hood - leather, actually [smile] - with a thin layer of the same foam inside. The subject is earplugged, and the usual white noise is played into cans - sorry, headphones - in the hood. Sight is controlled, of course - he sees pure, even, low-level illumination diffused by plastic lenses in the hood from a low-pressure Sodium lamp above his head. Ambient air temperature is kept at around blood-heat (actually just a few degrees below - works better, for reasons which are too complicated to go into now). He's restrained in a comfortable spread-eagle, with heavily-padded cuffs, and given a small dose of a cocktail containing a Curare derivative to create a partial paralysis, and a very mild euphoric. Result - he can't move, doesn't want to move, is comfortable, happy, and experiencing almost total sensory deprivation. But, unlike if he was in a tank, a lot of his body is available and accessible. Of course, while he's like that, his brain is turning up the volume on all of his senses, because it's not getting any stimulation - you know how Sensory Dep works. So, [Mark locks me with his eyes, and wets his lips with the tip of his tongue] if you then, suddenly and unexpectedly stimulate him, his nervous system is unable to deal with it.

PD : And what's the result of that?

M : The result of that is that things you wouldn't even consider to be tortures suddenly become devastatingly effective. In fact more than that - it's quite easy to make a subject scream with nothing more than a small, soft paintbrush.

PD : But something tells me that you can do worse than make someone scream with a paintbrush, can't you...

M : Oh yes. We usually only use SDO for sanction work.

I considered this for a while - my imagination providing all kinds of horrendous scenarios.

PD : You mentioned tickling. Are you telling me you can use tickling to get a grown man - a fully-trained soldier - to talk?

M : Tickling and cum-control are two procedures I introduced myself - I love developing new techniques. They can sometimes be surprisingly effective.

PD : I don't think you invented either of them - guys into S&M have been using them for years.

Mark looked at me appraisingly for a moment, then the corner of his mouth twitched into a half-smile and he raised his eyebrows.

M : You've been doing your research. Was that during company time, or was it recreational? [He holds up his hand and smiles.] Don't answer that. What I actually said was that I enjoy developing new techniques. And I've developed both of those to quite a high degree.

He sat forward again and his enthusiasm was infectious. As he spoke, his bottomless blue eyes bored into mine, and he waved his hand as he made his points.

M : What it comes down to is that all coercive techniques - call them tortures if you like - operate on exactly the same principle. Whether it's pain, drugs, tickling, cum-control or any of the many other ways we use to get a source to comply - what you're doing is creating a condition for the source which is controllably, and increasingly, non-viable. Whatever technique you use, the result is the same: it gets more and more unbearable until the source can't stand it any more and will do whatever is necessary to gain relief from it. Now whether that relief is the absence of pain, or escape from unbearable tickling, or a longed-for orgasm - it makes no difference. If the source complies to get that relief, it's an effective technique. Ok, so given that, why limit yourself to making someone scream by turning up the wick on an ES unit and shoving kilovolts through him, when you could get the same result - and incidentally have a lot more fun - by smiling boyishly and teasing his horny, sensitive, dripping cock-head?

Still smiling, he sat back, and squeezed his cock-bulge. I was mesmerised, but forced myself to remember I was supposed to be doing an interview for a magazine.

PD : Mark, tell me honestly - don't you ever lay awake at night and worry that you cause suffering to other human beings?

M : No. I sometimes lay awake at night and wank thinking about what I did to someone that day, though.

There was no answer to that - at least I couldn't think of one. I tried to think of anything else my readers would want me to ask him, but my mind was no longer on the job. It was working overtime thinking about that gorgeous boy Mark and what he did to helpless victims...

Torture - it was something which had for a long time been both repulsive and strangely fascinating to me. What was it actually like to be tortured? To be strapped down and really... tortured - by an expert? One part of me was shuddering at the very thought, but another part was longing to experience it - especially in the hands of a boy like Mark. I wondered if I could somehow....

PD : [very hesitantly] Mark, [long pause] Mark, you'll probably think I'm out of my mind, but - but torture is something that's always fascinated me. I can't stand pain, and I'd hate to be really tortured... but - what's it like? What does it feel like to be helpless, and know that another person's hand is on the switch and could .... could cause such ... such unbearable agony? And that there's absolutely nothing you can do about it? [long pause].

Mark was sitting there, leaning forward, his shining blue eyes staring intently at me, a slight smile on his lips, his elbows on his thighs and his fingers steepled in front of him. Although I'd stopped speaking, and there was a long pause, he didn't say anything - it was as if he was waiting for me to ask him what we both knew I wanted to ask him.

PD : Mark, I know you're going to think I'm nuts. But is there any way I could experience... torture... without too much pain? I know that's a contradiction in terms, but .....

I'd run out of steam. He continued to look at me for a few moments, unmoving, then, on impulse, jumped up (I wondered - did this boy ever move slowly?) went over to the CD player and moments later some heavy-rock music started playing. Then he bounced back to the chair and sat down again. I was confused - what was all that about?

I suppose he must have pressed a button somewhere near the CD unit, but I hadn't seen him do it. Whether this had been planned or not I've no idea - but in any case I didn't hear the door open behind me, or sense the approach of the soldier. The first thing I knew was my head being held, and a cloth being clamped tightly over my nose and mouth. I saw a flash of cammo sleeve, and then I began to lose consciousness to the Chloroform or whatever it was on the cloth. The last thing I was aware of was Mark, still sitting looking at me, smiling slightly, and squeezing his bulging cock through those skintight leather jeans. He was a pro - not for one millisecond had his eyes left mine when the soldier had come in.

[End of recording. The rest of the disc contains only the sound of a heavy-rock band playing over the stereo.]

*               *               *

Afterwards

When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was a large light array - the sort of thing they have in surgeries. I lay there staring at it, my brain slowly getting itself together. The light fitting was made of dark grey metal, and had four large lenses, all of which were glowing brightly. What the hell was I doing in a hospital?

Then Mark's face appeared, those extraordinary blue eyes looking down at me with gentle amusement at my efforts to get my brain in gear and to realize what was going on. The sight of him made my cock jump, and then everything came back to me. I grunted, and I started to sit up. At least I tried - I found that the only thing I could move was my head. I looked down, and saw that I was naked, lying on my back, my arms by my sides, and strapped down by eight thick, black leather straps - to what appeared to be an operating table. I smiled nervously, and started to shake my head slowly. "Oh no. No. Please Mark, let me out of this..."

"Shhh." He put his finger to his lips. "Don't worry. You're ok. I'll be back in a tick." He went out of the room, and left me staring at the room, open-mouthed. The place looked like a cross between a state-of-the-art operating theatre and a recording studio: the walls were covered with hi-tech equipment whose purpose I could only guess - and shudder - at. More electronic and stainless-steel machines stood around on large black castors; some of them had computer screens on them, or digital readouts of one kind or another. A complete anaesthetic and ventilating machine lurked in one corner, its red, green and black gas cylinders looking like torpedoes, and a sinister black rubber facemask attached to a corrugated rubber tube hung on the side. Behind it was a bank of reel-to-reel tape recorders, and hanging from a hook on a the wall to my left was a forest of electric cables with assorted pads, connectors, probes and discs on their ends. I didn't like the look of these one bit.

Mark reappeared, carrying a glass of water with a straw in it in one hand and a condom in the other. "Your mouth is dry. Here - drink this."

He was right: it was very dry - I noticed when he said it. Must be an effect of the stuff they used to knock me out with. I raised my head as far as it would go and drank the water. He put the empty glass down and unzipped his leather jeans. It was a struggle getting his cock out, but he managed it. Of course, like everything else about that boy, as far as I was concerned it was perfect. Big but not ridiculous, smooth, soft, silky, sharply-ridged - and as hard as iron. He rolled on the condom, then forced his cock back inside his jeans. By the time he'd got the zip done back up again it was straining under the pressure.

Then I remembered something he'd said earlier: 'I work best when I'm horny.... I often cum while I'm working on a source - sometimes a lot more than once.' - did that mean he was going to 'work' on me? Oh shit. Oh God - no. I told him the truth when I said that I've always been fascinated with the idea of torture - but I was also being accurate when I said that I can't stand pain.

"Look, Mark - I know I said that I wanted to experience this... but I really can't stand pain. I really can't. Please....."

He looked down at me, then came closer. I could feel his warm breath on my cheek and the clean, fresh smell of his hair. "Listen, Paul. You wanted this. You wanted to find out what it's like to be tortured. You've always wondered, haven't you? Well, I'm going to show you. I'm going to torture you - and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. You can't bottle out - you're strapped down and you're going nowhere. Just remember: there have been bigger, stronger and much more determined guys than you strapped down exactly where you're lying now." He waved his hand, taking in the entire room. "This is IR1 - Interrogation Room one. It's the best equipped of all the Interrogation Rooms in this centre. All this equipment you can see is state-of-the-art gear designed and built for one purpose and one purpose only..." He leaned even closer, and whispered into my ear, "...to make subjects talk." He backed off again and raised both hands, palms upward. "These walls are heavily soundproofed, so please feel free to scream."

Sweat was running down my forehead. I was terrified. I was going to be fucking tortured, for Christ's sake. I knew enough about torture to be perfectly certain that I couldn't even begin to stand it. Oh fuck, what the hell had I been thinking of? This was real - and I wanted out!

Mark looked at me for a while, drinking in my panic and, although I couldn't see his hand, I could hear by the creaking of leather that he was squeezing his hard cock. Very quietly, he said "Oh fuck. You really are..." Then his face lit up with that brilliant grin and he slowly bent down and almost kissed me. His lips were millimeters away from mine, and in spite of my terror I responded passionately. I strained upwards as far as my restraints would allow, but I couldn't quite reach him. I could feel his breath on my lips, smell him... I don't think I'd ever been more frustrated in my life.

In the length of that not-kiss (which was what, ten seconds?), my cock went from fear-shrivelled to fully erect and as hard as rock. Half a centimeter closer and it would have been the most wonderful kiss I have ever had. If his eyes had been gorgeous from across the coffee table, they were staggeringly beautiful from three inches away. I normally close my eyes when I kiss, but not with him. Not with Mark. Those eyes are just too good to miss. Although I couldn't touch him, I felt as if I were falling from a very great height into a bottomless, deep blue pool of bliss.

He licked the tip of my nose once, then lifted his head slightly and chuckled. "Oh don't worry, I'm not going to torture you - although it's very tempting, believe me. I'm only going to give you what you wanted: a feel for what it WOULD be like. You won't be doing any screaming. So just relax, and trust me, ok?"

He was not making himself the easiest boy to trust, but I didn't appear to have much choice. I was strapped down to an operating table in a hi-tech military interrogation centre, and in the hands of an expert - a self-confessed professional torturer. But fuck he was sexy!

"Ok - I'll try."

"Listen, I'm going to tell you everything I'm doing to you. I'll tell you what to expect, and when. And don't worry - I know what I'm doing, believe me. I do this sort of thing for a living." He laughed then, and I suddenly found that in fact I did trust him. I smiled at him and nodded. "OK, beautiful boy - do it." I sounded a lot more confident than I felt.

He winked at me, then busied himself collecting a handful of the cables I'd not liked the look of earlier. He held them up for me to see. "We'll deal with pain first, and get that out of the way. I'm going to put these little electrodes on various parts of your body, then connect them to this machine here," he indicated a device on wheels which consisted of a metal box, a keyboard, a VDU and a bay of sockets on the front. "It's an ES machine. That's "Electro-Stimulation. Now don't worry!"

Carefully, he spread a gel onto one of the elctrodes and attached it to my big toe with a small tape, then plugged the other end of the cable into one of the sockets on the machine. Then, one by one, he did the same with the others. In all I counted 15 of them. "I suppose the positions are critical?"

"Uh-huh. Each electrode will mainly stimulate one particular nerve. By adjusting the frequency of the signal I can direct the stimulation to just about any depth below your skin that I want." He pressed a few keys on the keyboard and the VDU lit up. It showed a blue screen, with a complicated control panel on it. Concentrating, he adjusted settings on the screen for a while, and then nodded. "Ok, I think we're ready. Tell me when this starts to hurt."

I stiffened in fear and anticipation. My cock was soft again. For a few seconds I felt nothing - and then a tingle ran down the length of my left leg. The tingle changed to a buzz, then a soft pain, then a stabbing. I began to moan. I was staring fixedly at Mark. He was watching me closely. The pain continued to increase until I couldn't take any more. "ALRIGHT!"

Mark hit a key and instantly the pain stopped. "Sciatic nerve. Always a good one". He looked at the screen. "4.2? That's nothing. You telling me that hurt? You're a softie." He made more adjustments. "Ok, same again. Tell me when to stop."

This time the pain was in my right arm. It started at the elbow, and increased until it felt like I'd knocked my 'funny bone', then spread until my entire arm was on fire. "AAHHH! STOP!"

Mark checked the screen again and shook his blond head. "Paul, a tip - never become a spy."

For the next few minutes he demonstrated the effects of each of the electrodes in turn, increasing the level until I told him to stop. They were all as wicked as each other - and every one hurt like fuck. He showed me how, by using them in pairs or triplets, it was possible to direct pain to any part of my body - even if there wasn't an electrode anywhere near where the pain was.

By the time he'd finished I felt like I'd been thoroughly beaten up.

He spent a few minutes carefully making more adjustments, then he leaned over me and smiled gently. "Now, you wanted to know what it feels like to be tortured. To experience pain at a level which you can't possibly deal with. Ok, I can do that - and, strange as it may seem, I can do it without actually hurting you too much. Magic, eh?"

I shifted uncomfortably on the table.

"Now - do you want the good news, or the bad news?"

Ever the pessimist, I opted for the bad first.

"I'm going to depolarise a couple of your nerves completely. That's the equivalent of turning this machine up as high as it will go. It's the sort of level we rarely get to - and then only with the most experienced, highly-trained, resistant sources."

"No! Please - that'll kill me! Oh shit..." I panicked and fought the restraints.

Mark watched me struggling, gave his cock another squeeze, then held his hands up. "D'you want the good news now?"

"Please Mark.... please...." I was whimpering unashamedly.

"The good news is that I'm only going to send you a pulse lasting precisely one millisecond. Just enough for depolarisation, and no more. It'll give you an idea of how much pain it is possible to feel - but you'll only be aware of it as a sort of memory. By the time your brain registers it, it'll be long gone. It won't physically hurt you at all - but you'll still know exactly what it feels like to be really tortured. Are you ready?"

I was shaking with fear. "Please, Mark........ please...."

"Trust me, lover boy." He smiled his sexy smile, and I wilted. I nodded once.

He held his finger over a key and then, without taking his eyes off me, he pressed it.

I felt a very slight tingle - it seemed to be all over my body...

... and then my world blew apart.

In a split second, my universe turned upside down. There was a soundless explosion in my head and my body fragmented into a million tiny pieces. A flash of the most brilliant silver blinded me... and for the first time in my life I knew what pure, distilled, agony was. Every muscle in my body went rigid, I stopped breathing, my mouth open like a fish, eyes staring into his face. An animal scream started in my throat, but didn't get any further - the agony had gone. In fact I wasn't sure it had ever been there. It was just as Mark had said - a memory. Just a memory.

I collapsed in my restraints, and began to breathe again. "Oh shit. Oh sweet Jesus. Oh fuck....."

"Did you like that?"

"Oh fuck. That is horrifying." My heart rate was just beginning to come down off the ceiling. "How - how long would you keep that on for with a real subject?"

He cocked his head to one side, his face now expressionless. "As long as necessary," he said.

I closed my eyes, the memory of that unspeakable agony still reverberrating around my brain.

"Well bits of you seemed to like it."

I opened my eyes and saw Mark pointing at my cock. It was as hard as steel again.

"Of course in a few years all of this will be unneccesary," he said, indicating the electrodes. "All you'll need is a helmet - or perhaps not even that - and we'll be able to stimulate the brain directly without using the body nerves at all. Research is already working on it."

I shook my head in wonder. The miracles of technology.

He removed the electrodes, hung the cables back up and pushed the ES machine to one side. "Now," there was a wicked gleam in his eye. "How do you like fairground rides?"

I rolled my eyes. What the fuck was he going to do to me now?

He pulled another control box towards him - this one had a joystick on it, amongst other things - and wrapped his hand slowly around the plastic handle. "Ready.....?"

The table I was strapped to began to move. First it just rotated slowly, and then my head started to go up and down as well. The movements were gentle, and it felt quite interesting. Then, unexpectedly, the bit I was secured to revolved on its longitudinal axis, and I was face down, hanging from the straps while the table continued to revolve. He brought me back to horizontal and face-up, and stopped the contraption while he went over to the other side of the room to get something. I'd once been on one of those gyroscope things they sometimes have at funfairs - three concentric metal balls each of which can rotate in its own plane. I'd narrowly escaped throwing up.

Mark came back holding a blindfold. I shook my head - "No, please..."

I might just as well have been talking to the wall. With expert efficiency, he got the blindfold fastened on me even though I was struggling as hard as I could to stop him. I heard the sound of creaking leather again - seemed that making me struggle turned this boy on a lot. He wasn't the only one: my own cock was hard from the feeling of being helpless to stop this beautiful boy from making me even more defenceless.

Then the table started to move again - but this time it was FAST! It revolved in every direction, unpredictably, and within seconds I no longer knew which way was up. I tipped end over end, round and round, sideways - and not being able to see anything or to get a visual fix on a motionless object intensified the effect many times. Within seconds I was panicking yet again, and was just about to shout out when the table slowed, then came to rest. I was breathing fast. "Wow. That's some table."

I heard him chuckle. "It's not exactly designed for doing that sort of thing, but it's been useful on occasion. Some guys can't take it anything like as well as you can."

I decided not to tell him how close he'd come to getting sprayed with vomit. He removed my blindfold, smiled, then picked up something made of black rubber.

"Ok, now I'm gonna put this mask over your face. Don't worry."

It was a thick black rubber mask like the one on the anaesthetic machine, and - like that one - was attached to a corrugated rubber tube. He fastened it on very tightly, then connected the other end of the tube to a small box on wheels.

"A lot of people have an intense fear of suffocation; this device is designed to exploit that fear." He showed me the box - it appeared to have some kind of valve and a timer on it. "At the moment, you can breathe fine - but if I want, I can turn this completely off..."

Suddenly I could get no air. I could breathe out ok, through a one-way valve in the mask itself, but when I tried to inhale, all that happened was that the rubber mask pressed harder over my nose and mouth, making the air seal even better. No matter how hard I tried, I could not breathe. My lungs were empty, and I lay there, trying not to panic, watching Mark watching me. The tip of his tongue was running slowly over his upper lip, and I could see he was getting off on this.

I needed air badly. My eyes now were open wide, staring, and suddenly I lost it. I panicked. I struggled and tried to get the mask off, but there was nothing I could do. I couldn't even communicate with him as there was no air left in my lungs to plead with. I was desperate.

Air rushed into my lungs as Mark opened the valve, and I gulped it in gratefully.

"Of course there's an infinite number of points between fully open and fully closed. I can make it as difficult for you to breathe as I like..."

This time he closed the valve about half way. I could still breathe, but it was very hard work, and extremely tiring. I had to work at it all the time, knowing that if I relaxed I would suffocate. It was easy to see why subjects would fear this simple thing - being able to breathe easily is something you don't think about normally, but when it becomes difficult or impossible, it suddenly gets to be very important indeed. And to have a device which is designed specifically to make it difficult or impossible seemed to me very unfair somehow - and very horny. I realized that I had an hard-on again.

He opened the valve, and I panted until I was ok again.

"Now, there's a sneaky little thing on this..." He adjusted a dial and hit a switch. Nothing seemed to happen. "It's just a little motor connected to the valve. It's slowly closing the valve right now - very slowly. In two hours, the valve will be completely off. You'll start having difficulties in about five minutes, and after that it slows down even more. I could walk away and leave you - and you would suffer an extremely painful death - he looked at the dial - about an hour and a half long, I should think. Of course I can set it for any length of time I like."

Of course. Was it my imagination, or was it already getting a little harder to breathe?

"Be back in a while. Don't go away."

He turned and left! I shouted after him, but he'd gone. Now it certainly wasn't my imagination - it was getting decidedly harder to get air. I struggled and tried to get the mask off by rubbing it against my shoulder, but I couldn't get it close enough. There was absolutely nothing I could do. I lay there, staring up at the ceiling and the light, forcing my lungs to grab as much air as I could.

The minutes passed, and I began to panic. "MARK! MARK!" I screamed. Oh shit. Oh fuck. Get me out of this. Please.......

He came back, laughing, and removed the mask. I gulped in lungfuls of air.

"Now - would you have told me what I wanted to know?"

"Oh shit Mark, I'd have told you anything. If you'd been fucking here!"

He smiled. "The nice thing is that I don't have to do anything. Just wait. Of course there are other ways to get the same kind of effect..."

He climbed onto the table and knelt with his knees either side of my neck. The view was intoxicating: his black, shiny thighs ran from the edge of my vision, meeting in a beautiful 'V' inches from my mouth. Looming above me was the bulge of his cock and balls, pressed inside those skin-tight black leather jeans. The leather was stretched so much over it that the teeth of the brass zip showed - the flap of the fly unable any longer to cover it.

Then he reached over to the control panel and held his finger down on a button. The part of the table under my head began to rise, and I realized he was kneeling on a bit that wasn't moving. His perineum slowly came closer and closer as the motor whirred...

"How ya doing, Paul?" He gazed down at me, and I longed to kiss him again. I wanted to feel that bulge on my face, that leather against my skin... "I'm ok!"

"Not for long..." He chuckled.

The head part of the table continued to rise and, looking down, he adjusted his position slightly.

Contact! My lips kissed his perineum, then were gradually pressed tighter and tighter against him. As the table pushed my nose and mouth into his body, his leather-clad flesh conformed to the contours of my face. The only way I could breathe now was by making my mouth a funny shape and getting air through the side. Seconds later, as the pressure increased, even that was denied me, and I was being suffocated by the most gorgeous, desirable crotch I had ever seen. It occurred to me that if I were ever to be offered a way to die, this would be it.

He stopped the table's movement, and closed his knees so that his thighs were gripping the sides of my head. His black leather jeans were tight over my face and I couldn't breathe at all.

As I ran out of air I began to struggle in panic, and he rode my head like a bucking bronco. Just as I thought I was going to pass out, I saw - and felt - his cock jerking inside his jeans as he came into the condom.

With a groan of pleasure, he lifted himself off me and jumped down, leaving me to gasp and pant and try to get some oxygen back into my bloodstream.

"Oh fuck," I breathed, once I was capable of speech again, "Mark, if ever you want to murder me, please do it like that."

"I'll keep that in mind." He turned away and changed the condom for a new one. "So," he said as he struggled to fasten his zip up, "do you fancy really being one of my subjects, then?" He raised his eyebrows.

"Fuck no, " I laughed. "That is one horrifying thought. Tell me - have you ever been tortured yourself?"

He didn't say anything for a while, and I wondered if he was deciding whether to tell me or not, but there was a faraway look in his eyes, and I realized he was remembering something from his past. "Oh yes," was all he said.

Mark pulled a smaller version of the ES machine over to the table, and attached three electrodes to me - one either side of my balls, and one onto my perineum. "This is interesting," he said. "It's a bit different to the others. Depending on the frequency of the signal I send to it, it can have very different effects. You ready for this, Paul?"

Having learnt exactly what the other ES machine could do, I was very nervous about trying this one. Just because it was smaller it didn't look any less threatening. I think I whimpered.

He smiled. "Tr-"

"I know - trust you. Go on then..."

He made adjusments on the screen, then hit a key. Suddenly the most exquisite sensations of pleasure ran up and down my cock and balls. Slowly the level increased - and before I knew what what was happening I was staring to cum.

Except that I didn't cum. The machine began to act like one of those anti-lock braking systems they have on cars and motorbikes: it got me to the point of orgasm, then stopped - paused - then started again - stopped - paused - started again..... in a very rapid cycle that kept me on the very verge of shooting my load.

"SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!! OH FUCK OH FUCK OH FUCK OH FUCK OH FUCK - AAAARRRGGGHH!!!"

Mark pulled off his sweatshirt, and I stared at his perfect body. He climbed onto the table and extremely carefully lowered himself on top of me. I could feel his leather jeans on my bare legs, his nipples brushing mine, and his cock-bulge pressing against my own cock. He held me with his strong arms, lowered his head - and kissed me, very slowly, and very deeply. This was what I'd been longing for ever since I'd first seen him. The feel of his lips crushing mine, his tongue on mine, his arms against mine, the weight of his body, the smell of him, and those extraordinary blue, blue eyes - I must have died and gone to heaven. I stopped screaming and gave myself body and soul to this angelic, beautiful boy.

One tiny part of my mind registered the fact that the cycle of the machine had changed: whereas before it had been on-off-on-off-on-off, it now spent much more time off than on. It was still keeping me on the very edge of cumming, but with the considerable additional stimulation that having Mark lying on top of me and kissing me was providing, it wasn't having to do as much work itself. As overloaded with pleasure as my brain was, it still managed to come up with the thought that this was a good way of saving electricity.

Being kept on the very brink of orgasm for any length of time is not a viable state for a human male. Orgasm is designed to be intense, and short-lived - the forces are so extreme that sooner or later something gives. Mark was perfectly well aware of this, and he reached out and turned the machine off before permanent damage to me was done. Then he went back to kissing me.

Time stopped. At that moment I fell hopelessly and irrevocably in love with Mark. I wanted to devour him; to worship him; to have him for ever and ever. I kissed him like I'd never kissed anyone else in my life.

Our lips parted slowly with a soft sucking sound, and I gazed at his gently smiling face. "Oh Mark.... oh Mark. I -" He pressed a couple of fingers lightly over my mouth.

"Shh."

I had been held by computer continuously on the edge of cumming for about four minutes, he told me later - and then denied the relief of orgasm. It is impossible for me even to begin to decribe the frustration of that. My heart rate had been astronomical, my blood pressure soaring, and it took time for these things to get back to normal. I lay there with my eyes closed, loving the feel of his arms alongside mine, remembering what it had felt like with him holding me, kissing me. I ran my tongue over my lips and I could still taste him there. Never in my life before had a boy made such an impression on me.

A quiet sob must have escaped me, because a couple of seconds later I felt his lips gently brushing mine again. I opened my eyes and saw that his were closed as he tenderly stroked his lips over mine, hardly touching. Then his eyes opened. "Hey, " he said softly, "are you ok?"

I couldn't answer for a long time. As I gazed at his beautiful face, it began to shimmer and blur as my tears began to flow. I couldn't remember the last time I'd cried - it had been a very long time ago, that was for sure. The warm, salty tears ran down my face.

He was frowning in concern. He cradled my head in his hands and gently stroked my tears away. "What's the matter, Paul? Have I hurt you?"

I knew he wasn't talking about physical pain. I sniffed, then made a brave attempt at a smile. "It's nothing. Just Stockholm Syndrome."

I'd expected a chuckle from him at that, but instead he just looked at me. Then he shook his blond head slowly. "You're something else, Paul. You know that?"

"What do you mean?"

He was silent for a while, and seemed to be searching for the right words. His blue eyes bored into mine, his focus flickering from one to the other as if he wanted to communicate directly with my soul. "A lot of guys fall in love with me, Paul. Happens every week. Doesn't mean anything to me. But you..." He brushed my hair away from my eyes gently. "I don't know." He sucked the corner of his mouth, not knowing how to say what he wanted to say. Suddenly he jumped off the table and stood facing away from me. "I'm a fucking good actor, Paul. I can make a guy think I'm in love with him and that he's the only guy in the world that means anything to me. I can make him want me, make him fancy me, make him want to fuck the arse off me..."

He stopped, and was quiet for a long time.

"But when it really happens..." He was so quiet I could hear the ES machine ticking quietly as it cooled.

"I don't do emotion. I'm hopeless at it. Can't deal with it. So I don't try. I don't get involved. I keep distant, stay objective."

He lowered his head, and said, quietly, "And then you come along and ruin everything."

Uh? What was he talking about? He couldn't possibly mean...

"What do you mean, Mark?"

He turned around and sat on the side of the table, then lay his head on my chest. "I want you."

I didn't understand. He couldn't possibly be in love with me. Not him. Not Mark - he could have just about anybody he chose.

He closed his eyes. "I knew I wanted you the second I saw you downstairs." He swallowed, and sighed, then opened his eyes and looked into mine.

"Mark - Mark, I love you. But you know that already."

"Yeah, I know. I know."

He jumped up then, and leant against the ES machine. "Fucking amazing isn't it? They send me this boy to interrogate - " he raised his eyebrows. "Yes, I'm supposed to interrogate you, Paul - find out all about what you were doing in the MI6 building, what your sources are for the SAS story - names, dates, places. Didn't know that did you? Oh you've caused a riot with that, I can tell you. And what fucking happens? You turn up and I fall for you like a fucking sixteen year-old. I can't interrogate you, Paul. I can't hurt you. I can't do my fucking job." He slammed his fist into the ES machine.

"Do you love me?" I asked, both longing for and dreading his answer.

"Yes. No - I don't fucking know." He looked down, inspecting his hand. "I think so," he muttered.

"Mark, come here."

He looked up, began to shake his head, then came over and sat on the table again.

"It doesn't matter. Let me out of these restraints, and let's talk about it downstairs."

He looked as if he was about to cry. "I can't. I have to get information out of you." A hopeful look crossed his face. "Will you tell me?"

Now it was my turn to say I can't. I shook my head. "Believe me, Mark, I would love to. But if I do, my career as a journalist is finished. Kaput. The magazine's invested a lot of time and money in this, and they're not going to take kindly to having it all thrown away."

He looked around the room. "Ha! We're in a room packed with hi-tech equipment designed to make guys like you talk." His eyes were on me again, gentle now. He shook his head. "But I can't.... I fucking can't."

I didn't say anything.

"Listen Paul - You know that there's no way you can leave this building without telling us everything you know."

I attenpted humour: "Well you're going to have to torture it out of me."

He didn't laugh. He gazed at me for a moment, then leant down, kissed me softly, and held my head in his hands. "I'm sorry, Paul," he whispered. "I'm sorry." Then he left the room.

A few minutes later the door opened again and a tall, solid man entered wearing army cammos and a black balaclava.

"Where's Mark?" I asked.

He didn't reply. In a businesslike way he set about connecting me up to the ES electrodes again. When it was done, he switched on the tape recorders, pulled up a stool and sat down by the side of the table.

"May second, seventeen - oh - five hours. Interrogation number six seven nine. Subject: Daly, Paul Edward. Interrogator: Beta five."

He turned to me. His eyes were dull brown."I have a few questions to ask you," he said, "and I would strongly recommend that you answer truthfully, fully, and promptly."

I could tell Beta Five wasn't smiling, even under the balaclava.

*               *               *

 

Of course I told him everything. He didn't even have to switch the ES machine on. What else could I do? I knew that I had no choice, and I knew that my career was over. What really bugged me was that I could have been telling it all to Mark, and not this guy.

I felt empty without Mark. I was continuously on the verge of tears. I lay on the table, looking up at the light, spilling my guts and in the process getting a lot of other people into very serious trouble. But my mind wasn't there. I wasn't seeing the light fitting. I was seeing a beautiful, blond, spiky-haired boy with the most gorgeous personality I'd ever met sitting astride me, and feeling his lips on mine, kissing.... kissing....

*               *               *

I went in to the office the next day and told my boss that the story was dead. That I'd been rumbled, interrogated, and told them everything. It didn't go down well. I left two hours later, without a job, and expecting to be prosecuted any day.

I wished I were the kind of guy who could turn to drink, or drugs - it would have made the days that followed easier. As it was, I sat in my flat, endlessly writing a letter. I must have written that letter a hundred - two hundred - times. Each time, I read it, stared at the screen, and then pressed 'delete'. I knew there was no point - I didn't even have the vaguest idea where to send it, and Mark would hardly be listed in the phone book. Yellow pages perhaps, under 'Torturers'?

I went for long walks; then returned home to write another version of the letter, pouring out my soul to a boy I'd met once and would never see again.

It was on one of these walks that it happened. I'd just come out of the park and was waiting to cross the road when a large black Ford Transit pulled up alongside me. The side door slid open and I found myself staring down the barrel of a rifle held by a soldier in cammos and a black balaclava. He didn't need to say anything - I got the idea well enough by the jerk of his head. I climbed in, and closed the door.

The soldier kept the gun trained on me the whole time. He didn't know it, but it was quite unnecessary - he'd have needed the gun to have got me out of that van. I sat there smiling happily at him for the entire journey. He must have thought I was nuts.

There were of course no windows in the van, and I'd got no idea where we were going, but when we got there I knew at once it was the same place as before. This time for some reason the soldier didn't bother to blindfold me, but although I'd never seen the place before I recognised the crunch of the gravel drive beneath my feet, followed by the two steps up to the entrance.

The Centre was almost entirely under ground. On the surface there was only a single-storey office building with lots of security cameras dotted about. There were no signs or company logos that I could see, and it could have been the headquarters of any large corporation.

Except I knew that Mark was in here somewhere. The soldier was a couple of feet behind me, and we walked at a brisk pace. I waited for the two descents in lifts which I remembered from last time - but we only took one. Then we followed a long curving corridor, and he told me to stop at an unmarked door. The soldier knocked twice, and the door was opened by a middle-aged man in a dark suit.

"Thank you." The man nodded at the soldier, who marched off. Then he smiled at me. "Paul. Thanks for coming." As if I'd had a choice. He held the door while I entered the room, and he invited me to sit. "Tea?"

I nodded. "No sugar, thanks."

The man poured one cup from a teapot already on the table and handed it to me. He opened a thick file on the desk, adjusted his specs, and leafed through the document. "Ah." He smiled, withdrew a sheaf of papers stapled together and handed it to me along with a pen. "Please sign at the bottom."

I took the papers and stared at the first page. I knew without counting them that I was holding in my hand fifteen pages - it was a document I knew well - although I'd never actually held it before. In Times Roman, the heading said:

            Official Secrets Act 1989 (c. 6) 

            An Act to replace section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911

            by provisions protecting more limited classes of official information.

"Wh....?"

He gave me a motherly look, smiled, and said, "Just sign it."

I signed my name on the dotted line and handed it back to him. In return he passed another sheet to me. This one said:

Contract of Employment (External).

Name: Daly, Paul Edward.

Date of birth: 5/5/1973

Nationality: British

Address: Suite 72, Floor 3, N.I.C.

Clearance: A6.

A6 clearance! I took in the meaning of this - someone had spent a lot of time researching me, and had decided that I posed an almost zero security risk. A6 is a high clearance! That would mean.... My mouth opened like a fish's as I read the lines that followed. I was being employed by the British Government, as a translator! What the fuck....?

"Don't bother reading it - sign the damned thing."

In a state of total confusion I scribbled my name and gave him the sheet back. He replaced it in the file and closed the cover.

"Good", he said. "Now enjoy your tea." He picked up the file and walked out of the room, leaving me staring after him uncomprehendingly.

I didn't have to wait long. The door opened again and a spiky-haired boy bounded in like a blond tornado. "MARK!!" I was out of the chair like a rocket, and we hugged each other with an intensity that almost broke our ribs.

"Oh fuck! Oh God! Mark! Mark! Mar-"

He silenced me effectively with a long, deep kiss.

There was a knock on the door, and it opened to reveal the soldier with the rifle standing there. This time he wasn't wearing the balaclava, and the rifle wasn't pointing at anybody. He coughed apologetically. "Sorry Sir."

Mark slowly disentangled himself with a laugh. "Yeah, what is it?"

The soldier looked as if he was shitting himself with fear at having opened the door at such an inauspicious moment. He stood to attention and looked straight ahead, avoiding our eyes. "S- SIR! Mr Daly's things have arrived and have been installed, SIR!"

Mark nodded. "Thank you."

The soldier continued to stare into the middle distance without moving.

"Was there something else, or can I get back to kissing this boy?" Mark asked in a politely inquiring tone.

The soldier's face went the colour of beetroot. "SIR! NO SIR, SORRY SIR!" He turned, closed the door and marched off at double time.

I frowned at Mark. "He called you 'Sir'. What rank are you?"

He started to shake his head, then stopped suddenly. "Ah - you've signed the OSA, haven't you. In that case I can tell you."

He told me.

I was impressed.

Then he pulled me down to the floor and lay on top of me, in a pushup position. Slowly he lowered himself and I wrapped my arms around him.

The next few hours were interesting, and I'd like to tell you all about them.

But I can't.

You see, I'm bound by the OSA.